The Atlanta Hawks have had a challenging season. Hidden behind their 38-44 record is an endless list of injuries that cruelly cut down a team with potential. For those who don’t watch the Hawks, it’s all too easy to proclaim them as a bad team. Considering that, as recently as February, the Hawks were four games above. 500 and the third seed in the East, a lot has been forgotten about Atlanta’s season.
Even without their talisman and center Al Horford, the Hawks have more than held their own against Indiana this season. The season series finished in a tie at 2-2, and the Hawks inflicted their fair share of pain on the Pacers. In their most recent matchup, a 19-point Hawks blowout win, Atlanta forced the Pacers into a franchise low for first half points.
In fact, as John Schuhmann of NBA.com pointed out on Twitter yesterday, the Hawks have the most efficient offense against the Pacers of any team in the East this season, with 104.6 points per 100 possessions. They also have the highest net rating against them at 7.3, with the next closest team being the Miami Heat at 2.9.
With this in mind, why can’t the Hawks beat the Pacers? Let’s take a look at some other potential advantages they have.